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Peter T Chattaway


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This movie comes out October 16. And just a couple days ago, it was announced that Mark Burnett and Roma Downey were coming on board as "executive producers" -- only three weeks before the film's release! -- to give the film a PR boost.

This is at least the third "faith-based" film that Sean Astin has been in (following Amazing Love and Moms' Night Out). One of the producers is Michael Catt, the head of Sherwood Pictures (which produced the first four Kendrick brothers movies). The black preacher that we see in a few scenes is played by DeVon Franklin, a former Sony executive who is also a preacher in real life (he was behind the film version of Heaven Is for Real and is currently teaming with Sony Pictures Animation to make The Lamb).

And then there's C. Thomas Howell, who I saw all over the place playing a teenager or very young adult in the 1980s (E.T., The Outsiders, Red Dawn, The Hitcher, Soul Man) but have almost never seen since, as a grey-haired, middle-aged football coach. Sigh. (He also directed The Genesis Code a few years ago.)

The first video, on how to "Trojan Horse the Gospel", has been playing before the film at preview screenings of the film.




Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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My review:


Because the film backs away from more serious self-examination, it can be instructively compared to one of this season’s stronger movies, Spotlight. Tom McCarthy’s film is able to differentiate its core characters from the more egregious sinners with whom they share living space, but it refuses to exonerate them completely.

When God shows up there can and should be genuine reconciliation, but that means something more than a clean slate moving forward. It means self-examination and hard questions. Repentance needs to precede reconciliation. While acknowledging that we all could have done more in the face of evil is a good start, it fails to address the ways that those in positions of privilege continue to benefit from injustices—even when they are not the most deplorable perpetrators of them.


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